Baltimore hasn’t always been kind to Brandon “B-Doe” Thomas, but it was on July 28th.

Coast 2 Coast LIVE, a national hip-hop event that features an artist showcase, came to town and B-Doe won first place. He was the only Christian who performed.

“I couldn’t believe [I won],” B-Doe laughed.

But B-Doe is used to secular crowds. His first stages were the streets of Baltimore. He began as a battle rapper, which is apparent on his album Crescendo that dropped on August 5th.

However, his subject matter has changed since his debut.

B-Doe’s rhymes once centered on fighting. And his sharp tongue pierced the wrong ego in ninth grade.

Weeks after a verbal altercation with a classmate, B-Doe exited his school to find 10 men dressed in all black marching toward him. He ducked back inside and headed toward the back door to avoid them, just in case they wanted to start trouble. They did, with him specifically, and they awaited him behind the school.

B-Doe limped home after being stomped out by the gang. His mother called the cops. As a result, all his friends abandoned him because he “snitched.”

Lonely, B-Doe began to dig into the Bible.

“I knew the gospel,” B-Doe told Rapzilla. “I went to church … but I wanted to do me.”

B-Doe soon learned doing him didn’t work. He took more comfort in Psalms than he did his rhyme notebooks. As someone who felt vulnerable walking around his high school because he didn’t recognize students’ faces, the protection promised in Psalm 91 appealed to him.

He became a Christian. And about a year later, a tour featuring Lecrae, Flame and Cross Movement performed in Maryland. It left an impression.

“They get to tell about Jesus from state to state?” said B-Doe. “I want to tell people about Jesus across America. And it’s a bonus that I’d get to do it through hip hop. To be able to use a genre that I love and talk about a person that I love, it was crazy.”

On Crescendo, B-Doe does just that. He’s blunt about the gospel, and the album is written to non-Christians.

“Coming from a battle rap mentality, being from the streets, people appreciate honesty,” said B-Doe. “I don’t want to hide who I am and my identity.”

Baltimore hasn’t always been kind to him (or others—he rattled off a list of the city’s nicknames: Bodymore, Murderland, Harm City) but he hasn’t given up on the crime-infested city. B-Doe regularly performs at local shows, and he’s maintained his mission since Lecrae and company inspired him years ago.

“I’m not just promoting my music, but promoting gospel,” said B-Doe. “Obviously that’s the message that [people] need for their souls. I’m not going to go around the city talking about changing behaviors. God has to change the heart. If the heart isn’t changed, [improved] behavior isn’t going to come.”

Listen to B-Doe’s new album Crescendo in its entirety, right here on